African King Living in Germany Rules His People via Skype

Togbe Ngoryifia Céphas Kosi Bansah, a.k.a King Bansah of the Hohoe, is a real African king who doesn’t believe in old-fashioned methods of governance. He prefers to live in Germany and rules his subjects via Skype! The 66-year-old king moved to Germany several years ago as a foreign exchange student – he fell in love with the country and decided to stay.

Interestingly, King Bansah was named successor to the crown in 1987, when his grandfather – the reigning king – died. He was chosen over his father and older brother, simply because they were left handed. The trait is apparently considered unclean and indicative of dishonesty in Hohoe.

The coronation ceremony took place in 1992, but King Bansah decided him being a king didn’t require moving back to Africa. He still lives in Ludwigshafen, near Frankfurt, with his German wife Gabriele, where he runs a car repair garage and also finds the time to govern the 200,000 Hohoe people in southeastern Ghana, through Skype and telephone calls. According to news reports, he even stays up late at night to rule on tribal disputes and makes sure to visit his kingdom at least six times a year.

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Aptly Named Aztec Death Whistle Makes the Creepiest Sound You’ve Ever Heard

The Aztec death whistle produces a sound so horrifying, it will chill you to the bone. Described as the ‘scream of a thousand corpses’, the death whistle sounds like the cry of the un-dead, or the torment of a human being burned alive.

Interestingly, the skull-shaped whistles were discovered 20 years ago by archaeologists, but were dismissed as mere toys. Most studies focused on how they looked, but no one really thought to blow into them. Now that the fearsome sound of the whistle has been discovered, it is attracting the attention of scientists, musicians and historians alike.

According to 66-year-old mechanical engineer Roberto Velazquez, who has spent several years recreating the sounds of his pre-Columbian ancestors, the Aztecs played the mournful ‘Whistles of Death’ just before they were sacrificed to the gods. Some historians believe that the Aztecs used to sound the death whistle in order to help the deceased journey into the underworld. Tribes are said to have used the terrifying sounds as psychological warfare, to frighten enemies at the start of battle.

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It’s From the Sole: Meet the New-Yorker Who Hands Out Free Shoes to the Homeless

New York resident Andre McDonnell spends all his spare time handing out free shoes to the homeless. Through his charity organisation ‘It’s From the Sole’, the generous 40-year-old has given away over 5,000 pairs of shoes in less than three years.

Andre’s idea is very simple: he collects new or gently used sneakers through donations, and then cleans them thoroughly himself. He actually spends $50 to $60 each week to wash donated shoes at a laundromat. Once the shoes are cleaned, Andre walks to the Grand Central Terminal and Union Square every day to hand them out to the homeless. Whenever he makes a donation, he takes a photograph along with the recipient and emails it to the donor. He also puts up the pictures on his Instagram page, where he has over 2,000 followers.

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Luxury Bunker Condominium Helps the Rich Survive the Apocalypse in Style

The ‘Survival Condo Project’ is a luxury bunker complex located in a missile silo 15 storeys below ground level in Kansas. It is designed to help the rich survive any disaster – including health pandemics, weather calamities, or nuclear terror attacks – without having to relinquish opulence and style.

The missile silo was originally built in the 1960s by the US Army Corps of Engineers for the Atlas F missile. Its 9-foot thick walls, built out of epoxy-hardened concrete, are capable of withstanding a direct nuclear attack. The dome structure that covers the silo can also tolerate winds of over 500 mph.

Recently, the silo was purchased by real estate developer Larry Hall, who has been in the business of building advanced survival condos since 2008. He claims that the dwellings his company builds can make it possible to lead an uninterrupted life of luxury underground.

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Beautiful “Skeleton Flower” Turns Transparent When It Rains

The Diphylleia grayi is a beautiful white flower that turns transparent upon contact with water. When it rains, the clusters of lovely blooms magically transform into glistening, crystal-like blossoms. Because of this amazing phenomenon, the Diphylleia grayi is commonly known as the ‘skeleton flower’.

The plant generally grows on moist, wooded mountainsides in the colder regions of Japan and China. It is recognizable by its large, umbrella-shaped leaves that are topped with small clusters of pearly white flowers. While the plant is perennial, and can grow up to a height of 0.4 meters, the flowers bloom from mid-spring to early-summer in shady conditions. As the petals of these flowers are soaked in water, they slowly begin to lose their white pigmentation, turning completely transparent over time. When dry, they return to their original white version.

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Meet the Incredible Eggman – The World’s Fastest Omelette Maker

72-year-old Howard Helmer can produce a delicious gourmet omelette faster than anyone else in the world. Over the years, he’s managed to hang on to two Guinness World Records – one for the fastest omelette (in 39 seconds) and the other for turning out a whopping 427 omelettes in 30 minutes.

In every demonstrative video he makes, Helmer shares his secret – he mixes two eggs with two tablespoons of water, and fries them in a 10-inch omelette pan. His routine goes something like this: “Butter in the pan – two eggs and two tablespoons of water – bring the cooked egg to the center of the pan and tilt the pan so that the raw egg finds some base to cook on until there’s no more runny egg but the egg is still very moist on top. In goes some cheese, some spinach, fold the omelette in half, and then the whole thing goes upside down on your plate.”

Helmer’s association with eggs actually began 42 years ago, when he took up a job at the American Egg Board, writing copy about the wonders of chicken eggs. Since then, he has promoted eggs at country fairs, restaurant conventions, culinary schools, and on national television. Over the years, he’s also worked with famous chefs and taught movie stars to make omelettes.

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Ghana’s Hilariously Awful Hand-Drawn Movie Posters

The West African nation of Ghana is home to a subculture of artists who create outlandish versions of popular Hollywood movie posters. The art form was at its peak in the nation during the 1980s and 1990s, commonly referred to as the ‘Golden Age of Movie Posters’. During this time, artists would let their imagination run wild in order to create posters that would never fail to draw audiences to Africa’s dilapidated cinema halls. So they used their artistic license to add weapons, scenes and characters that didn’t even exist in the original movie!

The art form began to lose momentum in the 2000s, when Ghanaians purchased their own TVs and VCRs, causing several movie houses to close down. But over time, the lurid hand-painted posters have only increased in value. In fact, several Western art collectors are willing to pay thousands of dollars for them. Some of the artists who have been out of work for several years are now finding a new lease of life in reproducing posters of more recent movies for art aficionados.

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Surgical Precision – Detailed Cityscapes Built with Scalpel Blades and Needles

Who knew that steely cold surgical tools could be used to produce exquisite, intricate architectural models? Renowned British artist Damien Hirst did just that – he used a vast number of surgical instruments and metal objects such as scalpels, stitching needles, razor blades, hooks, iron filings and safety-pins to create wonderfully detailed collages called ‘Black Scalpel Cityscapes’.

For his recent exhibition at White Cube Gallery in Brazil, he selected 17 cities that are either recent sites of conflict, cities relating to his own life, or centers of political or religious significance – including Rome and the Vatican City, Leeds, Beijing, Moscow, London and New York.

To create a collage, Hirst gathers as many surgical tools and scrap metal as possible and then begins the arduous process of delicately arranging them to replicate the aerial view of a city. He then adds some local flavor to each collage. For instance, the view of Paris is contains a few French francs and tourist souvenirs, while Vatican City has silver religious medallions. Moscow’s miniature roads sparkle with shards of mirror.

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Welcome to Ifrane, Africa’s Little Switzerland

Ifrane is a small town and ski resort in Morocco, famous for its European style and its similarity to the tourist haven of Switzerland. Developed by the French in the 1930s, Ifrane is so reminiscent of the Swiss Alps that it is fondly referred to as ‘Africa’s Little Switzerland’.

The town is located at an altitude of 5,460 feet above sea level in the Middle Atlas region. Its neat red-roofed houses, blooming flower beds, lake-studded parks, and snowbound winters present a huge contrast to Morocco’s narrow, maze like streets and old, earth-colored buildings. It is truly a wonder that such lush greenery, cedar and oak forests, and pasturelands can even exist in the midst of the hot and dry climate of the region.

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For More Than a Year, This Heartbroken Dog Has Been Waiting in the Same Spot for the Owner Who Will Never Return

Every day, heartbroken Masha, a brown dachshund, waits in vain at a Siberian hospital for her owner who died a year ago. Her sad tale mirrors that of the famously loyal Japanese dog Hachiko who waited for his master at a train station for 10 years. Owing to the similarities between the two dogs, Masha has earned the nickname ‘Russia’s own Hachiko’.

The sweet little dog has been visiting the Novosibirsk District Hospital Number One for the past two years, ever since her owner – a pensioner from the village of Dvurechie – was admitted. Masha was his only visitor – she would go away at night to guard their house and return to the hospital in the morning to keep the man company.

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French Man Develops Pills That Make Flatulence Smell Like Flowers or Chocolate

Believe it or not, someone has actually invented a pill that makes your farts smell like roses or chocolate. It sounds like a joke, but according to their inventor, they work wonderfully.

The pill is the brainchild of 65-year-old French inventor Christian Poincheval.  Christian says that he began developing the pills six years ago, after a rather copious dinner with some friends. “We had just come back from Switzerland and we were eating a lot with our friends and the smell from the flatulence was really terrible,” he revealed.

“When we were vegetarian, we noticed that our gas smelled like vegetables, like the odor from a cow pat, but when we started eating meat the smell of the flatulence became much disagreeable,” he added. “We couldn’t breathe so me and my friends decided something had to be done. We needed to invent something that made them smell nicer.”

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Chinese Martial Artist Can Breathe While Hanging by His Neck from a Tree

Chinese martial arts expert Li Liangbin probably has the strongest neck muscles in the world. They are so strong that he can actually support himself and even breathe while hanging from a noose!

The 49-year-old from Lizhuang village, China’s Shandong province, said that he’s been practicing kung fu since he was a young boy. “Although I am now a kung fu master, I’m always looking for new challenges and new ways to discipline my body,” he revealed.

“Kung fu is my life and it’s important to have a challenge. Everyone knows about kung fu masters that can chop up concrete blocks or leap off tall buildings, but surviving a hanging is something new.” So he decided to toughen his neck muscles to such an extent that he would be able to survive even after being hung from a tree.

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Massive Sinkhole Might Swallow Up Russian Mining Town

On November 18, giant sinkhole measuring 100 ft across was discovered about two miles away from a mine in Russia’s Perm region. The gaping chasm is believed to have already swallowed up several homes and locals in Solikamsk now fear that the same could happen to their whole town.

The hole is believed to have appeared after the nearby Solikamsk-2 mine was flooded. Luckily, workers were evacuated and operations were halted before the appearance of the chasm, because of the inflow of saline water. Thousands of miners have now been asked to stay away as geologists assess the situation.

Uralkali, the company that owns the Solikamsk-2, is assuring people that there will be no catastrophic effects for the company or for the locals. Regional authorities agree that the hole could get bigger, but it would still be of no danger to the people. But that hasn’t stopped the crazy rumors – locals claim to have spotted missiles and even falling angels near the sinkhole.

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Insanely Talented Artist Can Manipulate Virtually Any Material or Matter into Photo-Like Images

Artist and photographer Bill Fink is the creator of ‘Time and Matter Photography’, an amazing art form that involves producing photograph-like images out of virtually any material or matter. So instead of conventional materials like silver halide or inkjet, the 60-year-old artist uses hair, human ashes, soil and anything else you can think of to painstakingly create photo-like images.

Some of Bill’s most notable works include a portrait called ‘My Eye’ – made entirely from his own hair, ‘Flowers’ – made entirely from the pollen of those flowers, ‘Quaker Oats’ – a picture made with Quaker Oats, and the image of a man named Bob, made using his ashes. These pictures look just like vintage photographs; nothing betrays the unique technique used to produce them.

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Jet-Powered School Bus Guarantees You’ll Never Be Late to Classes Again

Rocket-powered buses are undoubtedly among the most fun ways to get to school. I mean, if that doesn’t get kids excited about school, I don’t know what will. So an Indiana man actually invented such a jet powered school bus that can travel as fast as 367mph!

The bus, dubbed ‘School Time’ is the brainchild of petrol-head and engineer Paul Stender and his build team Indy Boys. Paul actually custom built the entire bus himself, because “there’s no way the original bus could have withstood the speeds” he takes it to. “A lot of it is hand-crafted and the types of metals used would be more at home on an aircraft,” he explained.

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